Over the Range vs. Built In vs. Countertop Microwaves
There are three main types of microwaves: over-the-range, built-in and countertop. These options primarily differ in their installation, but they also offer different features, designs, sizes and price tags. Use this guide to learn more about the different types of microwaves to learn which option is right for your home.
What are countertop microwaves?
Countertop microwaves are freestanding units that can be placed on your kitchen counter near an electrical outlet. These models are a great option for renters because of their flexibility: they don’t require any renovation to be installed and can fit in many different locations inside your kitchen.
An Amana® countertop microwave can easily fit in your kitchen space so you can place it wherever you need.
Whether you’re cooking frozen snacks or heating up family-sized casseroles, Amana® countertop microwaves are here to help. With easy installation and several food-specific cooking presets, you can heat up your favorites with ease.
What Are Over-the-Range Microwaves?
These microwaves are installed above a range or cooktop and offer ventilation as well as other features like cooking presets and a surface light.
If your kitchen is low on counter space or if you prefer to centralize all your cooking appliances, you may want to consider an over-the-range microwave. Over-the-range microwaves often also come with two filters: a charcoal filter to reduce odors and a grease filter to clear the air.
Amana® over-the-range microwaves offer an exhaust fan, a hidden vent and a cooktop surface light as well as standard microwave cooking features so you get the benefit of a range hood and a microwave all in one appliance.
Amana® over-the-range microwaves double as a microwave and vent for your kitchen. Conveniently use your microwave to defrost frozen meats before searing them on your cooktop, using the Exhaust Fan with Charcoal Filter to filter out any smoke or steam that happens when you’re cooking.
What is the difference between over-the-range and built-in microwaves?
Like an over-the-range microwave, a built-in microwave is installed into the cabinets or wall of your kitchen to keep the appliance elevated off of your countertops. However, built-in microwaves can be installed in different spots in your kitchen rather than just above a cooktop or range.
Read on below to learn more about the other factors that make built-in microwaves different from over-the-range models.
• Many built-in models don’t offer exhaust fans or vents like an over-the-range microwave
• Built-in microwaves can be installed in an under-cabinet configuration
• Built-in options are designed to remain flush with surrounding cabinets for a seamless look
• You may need the help of a professional to install a built-in microwave
Can you use a countertop microwave as a built-in?
Yes, you can convert a countertop microwave to be installed as a built-in to free up additional counter space. You can mount countertop microwaves on a shelf or in a cabinet with the help of a trim kit that closes any gaps around the appliance to create a seamless appearance.
Is it worth getting a built-in microwave?
If you have limited counter space or simply prefer to keep appliances elevated, you may want to consider choosing a built-in microwave. This helps to keep your space decluttered and provides more room to prepare your meals.
However, a built-in microwave may not be the best option for everyone. A built-in option may not work in rental units that don’t allow remodels and kitchens with limited cabinet space. Built-ins are also typically more expensive because of the added costs of installation.
Shop Amana® Microwaves
Whether you need to heat a quick breakfast before you hit the road or want to quickly cook a midnight snack, Amana® microwaves have you covered. Browse over-the-range and countertop options to find the right fit for your kitchen.